Thursday, October 13, 2005

My Top 5 shows during Founders Day

Founders Day at Silliman University could be the longest “day” on earth because celebrations started on Aug. 2 and has yet to end with a Post-Founders Day Fellowship on Saturday, Sept. 17 in Davao City.
That Founders Day would run close to about 1,200 hours. With a very long day to conquer, one could possibly get overwhelmed by the seemingly-equally important events that actually, only needs prioritizing.
Besides, you can count by one hand perhaps those that are truly worthy of your time and limited human energy and capacity.
As an avid enthusiast of culture and its development in this part of the world, I tried to be omnipresent (if I am not yet so) in almost all the events showcasing Silliman’s distinctive culture and glories in the arts, always looking for the original idea before I get totally impressed with the production. Originality, being the main criterion in my Top 5 Shows during this year’s Founders Day crowd-drawers.
In chronological order, these shows drew not only quality audiences (read, the important faces and names of the City, the country, from abroad), but also praises for their production as they were refreshing gifts to Silliman’s 104th birthday.
1) August 19 was the final night for ICE (International Cultural Understanding), a journey around the globe mounted by Higala International: Students from Around the World (HI-SAW). Each country mounted a sitcom that revolved around the visit of a Filipino tourist played by Thai student Suthai Katima , who was scriptwriter and director of the play. The introduction of different cultures through sitcoms brought different levels of the sense of humor that unified the world on that night. Memorable moments include the sumo wrestling bout by Naoki and Youji, the Koreans passion for soccer, a Russian vodka drinking session with Francis George, the confusing gift-giving traditions of the Persians, the hot and spicy Indonesian cuisine point, and the “lost in translation” gig in Paris with Chantal. Non-stop laughter in vivid culture colors!
2) The impact of the Miss Silliman Pre-Pageant on Aug. 20 actually overshadowed the Pageant night. Both the talents show and interview portion were great delights. The audience loved the Persian bets especially during the Pre-Pageant night, Miss Engineering Sarah Aghabararian serenading the applauding crowd with a Tagalog love song; and Miss CITCS Sanaz or Fatemeh Ahmadi Zeleti surprising everyone with her professional belly-dancing skills. The one who won Best in Talent is the bet from the College of Performing Arts Joyce Zerda who played the cello and sang a jazz song, she was eventually crowned Miss Silliman.
Miss Silliman 2005
The pre-pageant, where the candidates deliver a speech on a particular theme and answer questions in an open forum, was first done in 1982. It’s been 23 years.
3) Aug. 23 was a unique day for young people who were gathered at the Luce foyer to listen to pop, reggae, and rock bands, in all one concert. Called Unang Hibalag, the gig was different in the sense that the youth bands were actually performing Christian pop and rock songs. Simply awesome to hear rock rendition praising Jesus Christ. It was edifying to see children, teenagers, and parents from different fellowships in this University Town together and one in body and spirit.
4) A week-long painting exhibit called Voyages a Travers Le Temps et L’espace (Travel through Time & Space) by Edmund Bendijo, a Sillimanian who is now a Goodwill Ambassador of France, was rare highlight. The show, which opened on Aug. 24, had the typical Bendijo palette of happy colors. Even his blue exudes a relaxing density. Each piece was inspired by the movement of the lines in a crumpled paper, and the joyful melodies of music. His works in an intelligent abstraction captured people on an island, the crowd in an urban center, the dialogues of the artist’s past and present encounters, and many more. Lyric Expressionism is a style that can only come from Edmund Bendijo, a grand prize winner of a French international painting competition. If you missed the works mounted by his College of Business Administration family, you can follow them in the exhibit’s next stop at the world’s culture capital, New York.
5) I am tempted to rank this next events as the number 1 show because it achieved a two-fold purpose: to successfully celebrate the theme of the 44th Annual Church Workers Convocation “Proclaiming the Gospel in a Pluralist World toward a Dialogue o Life”, and to provide high quality entertainment for the audience composed of church people from all over the country. The Bahaghari mounted at the Luce Auditorium on Aug. 30 by the Banikanhong Magdudula of the Divinity School had original songs with Dessa Quesada Palm as lyricist, music by Jeaneth Harris-Faller, and musical direction by Jean Cuanan. Only the fourth production of Banikanhong Magdudula under Dessa’s direction, and Frances Mendez as an assistant director, it was a tapestry of the Divinity School students’ personal accounts from their home churches on the diverse cultural religiousity in the country. In three acts, the beautiful blend of popular culture and indigenous art brought the audience to an awareness of today’s issues affecting the Filipino church life. It was also wonderful to see the students enjoying on stage the wonders of theater, giving them self-confidence and the passion of true performing artists. I am sure the real harvest of glory will be in the near future when these young actors will be playing their real-life roles as servants of the Lord with courage and creativity; afterall, the concrete Bahaghari experience has planted within them a seed of faith on their God-given talents.
Honorable mention will go to the Body Painting contest conducted by the College of Nursing & Allied Health Sciences to promote once again the anti-smoking advocacy. It sent out a powerful message even with the total silence of the colorful visual creations on the human skin.
Another honorable mention goes to Silliman Performs, a Cultural Affairs Committee production. It could have been on my Top 5 list as it was supposed to be a showcase of Silliman’s bests in the performing arts, but two or three numbers were included there that had very low production value, pulling down the total impact of the show. But in every high or low point of a performance, our gratitude still goes to the artist, for in the words of Chicago’s Byrne Piven, “a community without artists is not a true community; only people living in the same vicinity.”

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

the Miss Silliman Crown

SEBASTIAN MORALES: ... I liked the fact that Miss Silliman - older than both Miss World and Miss Universe - continues to be one-of-a-kind pageant, which values substance more than appearance. Miss Mass Communication Matti Irene Hescock and Miss Arts & Sciences Scarlett Hartman had the good genes of perfect crossrace breeding and were also both articulate and smart; but spunky, petite, and extremely talented Miss College of Performing Arts Joyce Zerda eventually emerged the queen of the night.
Joyce, the final question
Cebuana JOYCE ZERDA of the Silliman University College of Performing Arts, could have outwitted them all being judged as Miss Silliman 2005.
Joyce, the final answer
First runner up is Matilde Irene Hescock of the School of Communication and 2nd runner-up is Scarlett Hartman of the College of Arts and Sciences.
The Miss Silliman Runnes-up

Monday, August 22, 2005

People are talking about…

…the international flavor of this year’s Miss Silliman Beauty Pageant.
There are two Persians -Sanaz and Sarah - have decided to break traditions in celebration of womanhood.
Sanaz, Miss IT
Fatemeh Ahmadi Zeleti, fondly called Sanaz, is enjoying the freedom with the Philippines’ love for beauty pageants, so0mething that is never allowed in her home country Iran. Her courage to join the pageant - even without much regard for the stereotypical model-figure - has actually drawn more attention. But mind you, many people are actually delighted at her willingness to participate in this Silliman tradition for the fun of it. Besides, Sanaz is like a classic revival of the Baroque period’s standard of beauty: a lovely voluptuous subject in a painting by Rubens. I salute the College of Information Technology and Computer Science for giving Sanaz all the support anyone would need in her quest to prove her belief to all and sundry that when it comes to beauty, it is in the eye of the beholder. An that God in his infinite glory makes sure there is justice for all! And during the night of talents, Sanaz has proven that she will have her own share of glory for everyone loved her graceful movements in belly dancing.
Sarah, Miss Engineering
The other Persian is Sarah Aghabararian who is like a sunshine with her generous smile. Not a few were surprised when the College of Engineering decided to be represented by this charming Barbie doll from Tehran, not the beauty queen from Tanjay who was many people’s bet. Two of the pre-pageant judges have expressed that it is possible that this very talented lady who was among the Top 3 Best Speakers would be the first Miss Engineering who will win the Miss Silliman crown. She won the hearts of the people when she serenaded them with a Tagalog love song and they applauded her for her honest and smart answers during the open forum.
Scarlett, Miss Arts & Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences made sure they would also have a strong presence in this pageant by sending this very talented beauty with German lineage, Scarlett Hartman. A composer of love songs and a visual artist who loves cartooning, Scarlett is actually majoring in Social Work. I know. Not your typical source of candidates for beauty candidates for beauty pageants. In fact, some professors in her College were taken by when they learned that Scarlett, like other students in her course who are expected to be advocates of women’s rights, was joining a beauty pageant. The professors have time and time again actually expressed their vehement opposition to the holding of beauty pageants, which they say is a form of exploitation. But Scarlett successfully defended her decision to join during the open forum and was even chosen as among the best speakers.
Matti, Miss MassCom
The United States of America, the culprit behind the Filipinos’ penchant for beauty pageants, is represented with the presence of the California-born beauty Matilde Irene Hescock, this year’s best bet of the School of Communication. Matti is part of this lean group of Masscom students whom many consider as a powerhouse of beauty titlists. If you recall, the Ms. MassCom since 2001 have consistently been the 1st runner-up glory in the Miss Silliman pageant. You won’t miss Matti’s 5’8” figure. She’s the one with the fashion model beauty and figure who is expected to finally break Masscom’s “almost there” spot.
The next two beauties are Philippine-born but you could mistake them for being Miss Japan and Miss Mexico on the strength of their foreign looks, and what they refer to in Tagalog , ang dating. Joyce, Miss College of Performing Arts
Chinky-eyed beauty Joyce Zerda of the College of Performing Arts, who has become a favorite host of campus events since that night of outstanding performance as emcee of the Valentine Song Writing Contest (and she did it again when she got the Best Speaker award and many want this cello player to win the crown), is always asked about her nationality. After all, when walking around campus, Joyce blends well with the Koreans and much more, with her Japanese friends. Indeed an oriental princess!
Honey, Miss High School
Honey Grace Lllenos of the High School Department, stands true to her Spanish-sounding family name; she projects the aura of a Latin American beauty contestant. Although, she is the youngest, Honey looks the most comfortable on stage. This teen, after all, must have developed stage presence and confidence as a member of the SUHS Debating Team.
Wanda, Miss Business Ad
International beauty pageants are never complete without the “ Miss Philippines.” In this year’s Miss Silliman, the Filipina beauty radiates in Wanda Omengan, representing the College of Business Administration. If you’re wondering why this candidate who is from Sagada in Mountain Province speaks with a nice American twang, know that Wanda grew up in a tight community with so much influence from American missionaries. But believe me, Wanda who is a pure Igorota is every inch a Filipina.
People are also talking about their bet from the new Medical School. A very smart lady from Stockton, Marikit Bituin Baquiran, could have been it. This Fil-Am beauty is a consistent honor student even when she was president of the Students from Around the World, the organization of foreign students.


Like part of the legacy from the Big Apple, the Miss Silliman Beauty Pageant was established in this first American school in the Philippines in 1946 by the American mentors, older than the two major international pageant, Miss World which was founded in 1951 in the United Kingdom and the Miss Universe founded by California clothing company Pacific Mills as an avenue to promote their Catalina swimwear in 1952.
It is possible that the Miss America, the world’s oldest still-running beauty pageant that started in 1921 as a beach affair, had actually inspired our very own campus-by-the-sea glory.
Talks about the possible dissolution of the Miss Silliman beauty pageant will never die, and the oppositors will always argue the irony of celebrating the beauty of the woman’s physique, and sense of dignity of the Christian academia.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Our Persian Friends

A stone thrown at the right time is better than gold given at the wrong time. - Persian Proverb

With more than 50 students from Iran enrolled this school year, they seem to have overshadowed our Korean friends who have been dominating the foreign students population in the City. Many of us are wondering what could be behind this “invasion.”
This is actually not the first time the University Town is host to these students from the old Persia. It was in the late 1960s when Persian students discovered Dumaguete as an excellent education center. Generations of them were here until the 1980’s. If you recall, they stopped coming when their country went through a crisis, and a lot of them were recalled back for military service.
After the 9/11 tragedy four years ago, the global paranoia over Arabic-looking people has actually led this new generation of Persians to our Dumaguete shores.
My Persian friends told me that applications for student visas either for the US or England were denied –especially when one looked Arabic.
While on a business trip to the US recently, my brother, who has an Arabo profile like I do, had to suffer from the humiliation of all interrogations and strict luggage inspections from one point of entry to the next. His advice to me: travel light so they don’t doubt what we could be carrying with us.
They’re not only paranoid with our Arabic-Mediterranean looks (on account of my genetic lineage which stems back to a Spanish friar), they’re also paranoid with our family name which starts with the letters A-T and E. If you remember, two of the 9/11 bombers had family names that started with A-T and E.
Sadly, our Persian brothers and sisters right here in the University Town have somehow suffered some kind of prejudice and discrimination. Some of our fellow Pinoys have in fact verified with me if some of these students from Iran have terrorist connections. I understand that even our local Immigration and Deportation office has not accorded these Persian students the same fairness and respect due to all human individuals.
To overcome these wrong notions, it is high time we understand the reasons why these students from Iran, whose number is simply growing, continue to come to our beautiful City.
Francis George, a Mechanical Engineering student, it was his father Emil who successfully campaigned for Iranian students to come over to study in Dumaguete. Emil found an entrepreneurial opportunity be serving as Philippine university placement agent. Supporting the business are his three other sons: Zodiac Bar owner Patrick and the two Information Technology students at Silliman, Christopher and Edward.
Aside from the fact that student visas for the US or the UK are now hard to come by, the Philippines, or Dumaguete in particular, was the logical choice because for one, only a limited number of students are qualified to go college in Iran.
Another reason is that these Iranian students badly want to learn good English. Still another reason is the much cheaper tuition of Philippine schools.
Yet another reason, there is an active Silliman alumni group in Iran who only speak well of the quality education they received here. Some of these Iranian students here now are actually second generation Sillimanians – beautiful sons and daughters of former SU foreign students, or children of Iranian parents whose friends are Sillimanians.
IT student Sirvan Ghosiri said he is happy to discover the “very open and healthy interaction” between men and women in the Philippines. Filipino girls, he said, are very good conversationalists. Of course, in the predominantly Muslim nation of Iran, people are more conservative in that regard.
Mostaffa Ahmadi, better known in the University Town as “that one with the Harry Potter cuteness,” is thankful for Dumaguete being “true to its fame as a place of gentle people.” He said he has found the people to be very friendly.
Business Management student Mohammad Ali Hosseini, “crush ng bayan” for some student nurses, also noticed how the warmth of the Dumaguete community is very much like the love among the Filipino circle in Iran.
Ali’s positive regard is echoed by campus heartthrob Farzad Pakdamanian, a Computer Engineering student. Farzad was studying in Manila until he discovered as a better place to live in because of its peace and serenity. He found Dumaguete residents “very kind.”
Then we have noted that the Persian lady students go around the University Town in two groups, the totally clothed and the fashionistas in short shorts.
Artin Khachatoorian, a Christian, explained that it is only here in Dumaguete where the Iranian women seem to have the freedom to be less covered up.
Student nurse Mohaddeseh Faghani stressed that she goes to school covered up for in respect to her religious tradition, and in obedience to God. When asked how she must feel with her full garb in our humid climate, Mohaddeseh reminded me with a smile: It must be hotter in hell.
The campus ladies and gays are close to being star-struck not just with the “Harry Potter” in Dumaguete, but also with the one who looks like Keanu Reeves, or the other one who’s an Antonio Banderas look-alike even the smell that is too exotic to take, and the one who looks like Joko Diaz : Seyed Hamid Reza Seyed Salehi.
There are winsome characters like “Mr. Congeniality” Nezamloo Mahmoud, the playful Ehsan Yaeghoobi who insists you pronounce his name well.
Meanwhile, the campus guys are desperately hoping there will be no more language barriers between and the beautiful ladies from Iran like Anna, Sona, Neda Montazeri, Sarah Aghaberarian, Bernadette and Maria George.
These friends of ours from Iran love jamming with Filipinos at StEd’s Silliman, hanging out with their newfound friends at Zodiac Bar, or dining, with them at Persian Palate. And at El Camino Blanco, it’s the Filipino friends’ turn to usher them to experience that Pinoy clean fun party spirit.
With their warm and sincere friendship and positive spirit, it is indeed a big blessing to have our Persian friends over in this University Town. There is much we can learn from them. Consider, this harvest of Persian proverbs:

He who want a rose must respect the thorn.

If the teacher be corrupt, the world will be corrupt.

If one has to jump a stream and knows how wide it is, he will not jump. If he does not know how wide it is, he will jump, and six times out of ten he will make it.

No lamp burns till morning.

You can't please everyone.

You can't put new wine in old bottles.

Go as far as you can see, and when you get there you'll see further.

I hope this column makes a beautiful splash, and create big wave circles of understanding.

Monday, July 11, 2005


Supermodel Linda Evangelista once said, “ people think modeling's mindless, that you just stand there and pose, but it doesn't have to be that way. I like to have a lot of input, I know how to wear a dress, whether it should be shot with me standing up or sitting down. And I'm not scared to say what I think.”
We could have the same regard for beauty pageants - totally “mindless.” Much more if it’s a male beauty pageant. We think of it as mere display of the male body form.
But the 2005 Hari ng Negros pageant mounted last week in Canlaon, Philippines to celebrate the mountain city’s 44th charter day proved to be a battle of brains particularly when it reached the Top 5 level.
A lady doctor in the audience who is from Bacolod shared her observations on all pageants that she witnessed. She noticed that when it comes to the interview portion, the bets from Oriental Negros would always shine with their wit and flawless command of the English language.
This she shared after she heard Jericho Arnaiz, a senior Political Science student of Silliman University who represented Pamplona, spoke about the role of the youth of today when asked by the host about his exposure as the SK (Sanguniang Kabataan) Chairman of his municipality. He garnered the Best Speaker award on the first set. This male pageant had four interview portions.

The men from Negros Occidental dominated the first set of awards with Mr. Bacolod Joey Cioson, a student nurse from the University of St. La Salle, winning the Best Smile award. Auric Claridad of Binalbagan was Mr. Photogenic while Richard Javier of Pulupandan was Best in Formal Attire.
Bais City’s Nepthali Badilla Jr. of Negros Oriental State University was awarded Best Body Shot.
As expected, Joey who has the boy-next-door innocence led the Occidental bets that dominated the Top 10 slots. Jericho made an impact for he turned out to be the best dancer in the Street Jam portion.

The interview portion showed the three bets in the Top 10 from Oriental Negros outshining the rest.
Joining Joey and Jericho in the final 5 were Mr. Dumaguete Paul Brett Orozco of St. Paul University, Mr. Bayawan Siegfred Schmidt, a Tourism student from USJR Cebu; and the exotic looking Mr. La Carlota Mark Anthony Rapas, an AMA Computer student. Each of them was asked to make a question for their fellow finalist. A very impressive question came from Mr. Dumaguete who asked Mr. Pamplona if the “country will have another president within the year?” and Jericho got the applause of the audience when he answered “I don’t think we will have a new president for I am sure that Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will give her best to evidently show that the projects she will do will make the economy to sour high.” Mr. Bayawan also clinched a top slot with his answer to the question from Mr. La Carlota on how he would “promote Canlaon and what would be his first project if ever he wins?” He said, “volcanoes! But my priority would be the importance of education for it is the only way to move forward….” Mr. La Carlota failed to make a clear answer when asked by Mr. Pamplona about “what new revolution would he want if given the opportunity to lead one.” When asked by Mr. Dumaguete what could be another reason for holding the Hari ng Negros pageant, Mr. Bacolod made a simple but a very cool answer, “to give happiness to the people of Canlaon for this is an entertainment for them.” He received a thunderous applause from the audience. Mr. Bayawan asked Mr. Dumaguete about the personal characteristics that would be beneficial to his family and the crowd favorite answered “being honest, God-fearing and to value close family ties.”
On the Top 3 level, Oriental Negros bets were the eventual lords of the pageant. Mr. Bayawan, Mr. Dumaguete and Mr. Pamplona were in for the final battle for the grand titles. The final question was quite close to the question for Margie Moran in the 1973 Miss Universe. Her question was, if you had one million dollars what would you do with it? Inspired by the Love and Peace cry of streets that decade she said, "I would buy a big house where I can live with all the people I love". Her answer gave the Philippines the second Miss Universe title. For the Hari ng Negros pageant the question was “…what will you do with the prize money?” All three gave similar answers that the money would go to their families. Siegfred who was beating-around-the-bush as he tried to expound was awarded the second runner-up title. Jericho who gave a smooth answer got the First Runner-up title. And Paul who looks like the actor Diether Ocampo gave glory to Dumaguete when he answered with tears that the money will go to his family. But the 23-year old computer programmer actually made a difference when he honestly shared that his family is having financial difficulty and that, he hopes to make use of the prize for his sister’s education.
The pageant successfully captured the majestic splendor and true wisdom of the city in the sky. With Kanlaon, the highest mountain of Negros, as the “royal” inspiration; indeed Canlaon City was the perfect venue to crown the truly deserving Hari ng Negros.
It was a great evening for on stage and in the audience was the spirit of unity of the two provinces.

Monday, June 06, 2005

three islands in one day

The 31st of May is always a day for me to be alone with nature and to celebrate the colorful culture of my country. In the past years, this day was spent spelunking in Legaspi, on a Taal Volcano conquest, boating in Lake Mainit, an art tour in Palawan, a carabao ride in the slope of Mt. Apo, on a date with the sun in Boracay, a vegetarian spirit-cleansing in Sagada, hearing the past in Batanes, on a nostalgia in Dapitan, a habal-habal ride in Siargao, a “peace” mission in Jolo, big-bike ride with friends around Camiguin, clay-art session in Bukidnon… and last year, with the kiss from the cool mountain breeze of nearby Canlaon. It’s actually investing on sweet memories on my birthday. It’s a way of rewarding myself and giving the inner senses a new energy. Looking fast forward, I know for sure that on my rocking-chair days, my happy heart will have so much mind-boxes of memories to open and cherish.

It’s really not that expensive to go on a nature trip when you travel with the spirit of a backpacker. My recent trip was on a low-budget just like my previous escapades. The beauty of traveling with the style of the regular pinoy- in-the-street is experiencing the countryside culture with all its honesty. I was truly one with nature and with the realities in the lives of the people in it.

May 31, 2005 is now on my file of sweet memories. It started with an early morning boat-ride from Sibulan to Liloan for only 35 pesos, the sea was so calm and most of those in the boat are students with their back-to-school excitement. My 75-peso ride on a van brought me to Siargao where I had a an 80-peso German breakfast at the Bamboo, a seaside resort. Then, I paid the habal-habal 25 pesos to bring me to the Talolot port to catch the 9am boat to Loon, Bohol. There was still time to drop by the old Boljoon Church, this southern side of Cebu sanctuary built by the Spanish priests in the 1599 is now listed as part of the world heritage. Boljoon is a beautiful glimpse at the ancient pseudo-baroque-rococo grandeur with intricate carvings and relief.
Boljoon Church, Cebu
And finally, on a barge to Bohol, you get to see a number of islands on this 40-minute ride. We were anchored at a port with the welcoming promise of nature’s bounty – the shoreline dotted with mangroves and the fishermen’s boats were all over.

With a 25-peso bus ride, I was already in Tagbilaran and at BQ mall, I had my favorite chicken oriental salad from Pizza Hut. Then, I walked towards the old Church in Tagbilaran where I waited for the jeepney that will bring me to the town of Loboc for the morning river cruise. I paid only 20 pesos for this jeepney ride where I had fun studying the profiles of the passengers in it: a fat lady who could be a vegetable vendor for her eyes were always at her basket of tomatoes, a young public school teacher who was discussing the enrollment procedure with the policeman who was inquiring for his son who has a big tummy like his tatay, a farmer who was complaining about the price of the kilo of rice in the brown paper bag that was on his lap – portraits of the Filipino challenged by the country’s economic crisis.
Loboc River
To save, I waited for a family who might want to try the Loboc River cruise. The 400-peso boat rental was to be shared with a family from England but when I gave them a hundred peso bill, the father of this family of three said, it would be a free ride for me. The boatman was so quite in the entire 45-minute boat ride. It was me who was talking about the Cesar Montano film Pagnahoy sa Suba. My sharing somehow gave them a World War II account on the river. In my heart, I actually felt like Moses on a royal boat down the Nile. Relaxingly cool with so much green from trees and shrubs on its banks. The cruise had Busay Waterfalls as highlight. Floating restaurant trips add to the festive river ride. I told that boatman to make a stop at the Nuts Hats where I planned to stay overnight with a 400-peso room rate.
BusayFalls, Loboc
I had lunch in one of the riverview restuarants were I tried carabao meat adobo and ginataang native chicken. It was to be a 45-peso meal. For siesta, I explored the Church of San Pedro in Loboc, the second oldest church in Bohol. Built in 1602, this Church is known for its remarkable paintings on the ceiling. The presence of the Spanish coat of arms found in the stone wall near the entrance of the convent brought back images of the old colony. While on this spot, I heard the angelic voices of children in a choir. I went upstairs, I was happy to see the Loboc Children's Choir rehearsing. This group brought the Philippines honor when in 2003, they garnered two major awards at the at 6th International Folksong Choir Festival, which was held in Barcelona, Spain. After two songs, the lady director acknowledged my presence. And some kids also recognized me. They remembered the kuya from Silliman who brought them around Dumaguete after their concert at the Luce. I told them the reason of my visit and they serenaded me with a Tagalog birthday song. The moment was so memorable.

Then, a 30-peso bus ride brought me to Carmen where I had my reunion with the famous chocolate hills. Some foreign tourists were on the same bus. I salute them for discovering the way of the locals in getting to this famous destination without the help of an agency, they just had their bankable Lonely Planet guidebook.

For nite life, some friends brought me to dinner at Bohol Tropics with live band entertainment. But the sharing of Mike Ligalig, a poet who writes in Cebuano, of the choices he made in life had reduced the live music simply as background to his love story.

Now, I can count myself more fortunate. The memory of a scenic river, of a song from a children’s choir in an old church and of all the lowly rides is a beautiful commentary of the humble spirit of life in its abundance. Have the joyful soul of a wanderer and conquer three islands in one day!

Monday, May 16, 2005

The Porters’ Point

Almost every Filipino family dreams of shopping in Hong Kong or Singapore, a summer weekend in Orlando’s Disneyland in Florida, a fashion watch in the streets of Manhattan, a Caribbean cruise, an elephant ride in Thailand or an African safari, a homage to the Vatican or to the Holy Land, an art museum tour in Paris, crossing London Bridge and royal-gazing at the Buckingham Palace, a nature trip in New Zealand to Down Under, or to the latest craze, a pilgrimage to Tibet.
Before the Porters decide on a world tour, however, they agree it’s important to know Home. Afterall , James and Irene Achacoso-Porter, although culturally different, share the same philosophy in parenting: inculcate in the children amor propio before they can appreciate what’s outside and beyond...
And the good way, they decide, for their kids to be inspired to love their home country is to visit the islands and learn about the places and people. Ask the Porter twins, James Edward and Robert Andrew, about Camiguin Island and with big smiles, they will tell you their “paradise conquest.” This time, you can ask the twins and their lovely sisters Aisa, Gayl and Nikki with their friend Gabriel Laurel about Dumaguete.
You see, Dr. Irene Achacoso-Porter finally realized a longing: to take her family on a summer break to Dumaguete. Friends from Manila tried to discourage her from coming saying she would just get bored in a small town and that there’s “really nothing to see in that side of [eastern] Negros.
Dr. Patrick Chua’s power of persuasion, however, led the Porters to explore this University Town’s best-kept secrets. (Irene is Patrick’s mentor in Endodontics, a branch of dentistry that studies diseases of the pulp. This rare specialization led both to a mutual-admiration society. Irene is proud that Dumaguete’s No. 1 orthodontist is her favorite student, and Doc Pat, Bebot to others, only has litany of praises for his beautiful teacher. Meanwhile, I am a fortunate beneficiary of this professional friendship, if you haven’t noticed the almost-magical change as I flash my smiles these days.)
Patrick did the hosting with gusto, filled with the spirit that stems from his love and respect for the family. The chef in Doc Pat, in tandem with his equally talented cousin Annebeth Sy, gave the Porters a sample of an array international cuisine variations: pasta, sushi, Chinese traditional entrees and the local seafood harvest -all of which were capped with the marvelous secret cakeworld of the sweet tooth himself, Doc Pat.
The Porters have proven their Manila friends wrong, and they are set to tell the world that Oriental Negros, indeed, is full of wonders:
Day 1: A visit to the Silliman University Center for Tropical Studies and Conservation, the SU Marine Laboratory, and the SU Center for Living Cultures & Anthropological Museum. Irene was a portrait of a happy Mom as she led her family to this educational tour. It was their first time to see the spotted deer that is endemic to Negros island, and got oriented with the friendly fruit bats. They were amazed that the whale bone museum at the Marine Lab is the world’s second largest collection. They were also awed at the burial jars and fertility ritual icons that seemed to bring them back to pre-historic Philippines, and of course at Silliman Hall, one of the country’s concrete symbols of American heritage.
Day 2: Dolphin watching in the Tañon Strait from Bais Bay. They boarded a boat loaded with picnic food – typical of any ride with Doc Pat. Cebu-based dentist Dr. Mia Rafanan Samson came along with her daughters. The big waves almost ruined their appetite for the floating fiesta. Their waited was long, the whistles and pleadings for the “ocean acrobats” to come out and show off their skills were starting to fade. Then their patience was rewarded as the dolphins came with their talent of glee and grace. A rare bonus was whales in sight. The fiesta lunch and frolic was at the Manjuyod white sandbar. After a packed day, the children and adults couldn’t stop talking about what they just experienced, even as I joined them for dinner with sizzling bulalo as the main dish at Royal Suite Inn back in Dumaguete.
Day 3: Trip to Sumilon Island at the Southern tip of the Tañon Strait. This old marine sanctuary is now a major resort for tourists. Dotted by bahay kubo-inspired cottages, these structures are redefining what used to be simple and raw. Pathways and wooden bridges now lead visitors around the Island. There was another refreshing stop on a cove that has a white sandbar.
porter in sumilon
Day 4: Waterfalls and lakes. The morning calm was spent on the Twin Lakes of Balinsasayao and Danao. The Porters were simply awed by the tranquil beauty of the lakes that surrounds them as they were in the middle of the big lake. But only Dad James dared to hike up and down towards the smaller lake. From the town of San Jose, the Porters went up to the Casaroro Falls in the mountain town of Valencia. They did not expect Valencia water veins to be so breathtaking. Casaroro was a perfect spot to cap their visit. James Porter, who works with Nestlé Philippines’ international trade, can’t help but just wonder why Oriental Negros is not that known as “tourism haven” when there is so much that the province can offer.
Day 5: Mariyah Gallery. A touch of culture welcomes the Porters in this hidden corner of Kitty Taniguchi, voted one of the best women artists in the ASEAN. Kitty, who is also a literary artist, entertained the Porters with stories behind her paintings. Filled with enigma, the murals of women dancing, or wrestling with life and romancing with nature captured the senses of the visiting family. But it was Kitty’s red painting that caught the eye of Irene, and after a brief private conference with James, a decision was reached: take home Kitty’s mural of women dancing on a sea of Oriental red.
The Porters has just made an inspiring point for other Filipino families: dream destinations don’t have to be that far. Within this wonderful island are some of nature’s best-kept secrets.

Monday, April 18, 2005

a tea party called beauty

Tea is taken around the world and its influence spans cultural as well as economic boundaries. Tea has played a vital role in world politics, wars, literature, romance, and cuisine. It has been ascribed a spiritual and mystical connection to the soul in the East, while in the West it has been considered in turn to be an evil liquor, a medicinal cure for almost any ailment, and a symbol of imperial oppression. To many, tea is the nectar of life.-The Afternoon Tea Party
aftrenoon TEA party (photo by: Carmen del Prado)
Among the lessons learned on this school break is the very subtle power of the tea. With its simplicity and smoothness, it bridges everyone to a celebration of a wonderful life. Such was this tea party in the slopes of Mampas in Valencia.
The connection towards the gathering started with the tiny blue card inviting me for an afternoon tea to formally welcome a couple, both visual artists. With just the card with a bouquet of wild flowers, promising an afternoon of warmth and elegance. That special touch was an achievement that only a hostess like Ms. Arlene Delloso-Uypitching can pull without much effort. Simply so lovely and true to the tea spirit.
It was a small gathering at Don and Arlene’s abode in the sky. The four-wheel drive towards this spot in Mampas on a summer day was thrilling with twist and sharp curve under the able control of Mampas king, Don. The folk genres were rolling with the greens and blooms of nature.
The welcoming smiles of ‘Prince’ David and ‘Princess’ Hannah confirm the promise of pure joy that afternoon. The small party was meant to be a ‘fellowship of the fortunate few.’ All of us there were actually ‘Mampas regulars.’ Although the sweet memories of our Mampas ride up was not to be the only common ground.
Working with Arlene in the preparation were the tea party honorees themselves, Cez Nuñez and Brian Uhing (Brühn in the Philippine art world), who have just decided to make Valencia their home in Negros.
While waiting, I kept myself busy by exploring once again the beauty of the house. Something on the wall is new- a nude by Cez. Her strokes run with passion: a beautiful woman showing her back. Then a new framed glory on a table, a photograph of Brian’s masterpiece. This oil called Lulu has Swahili pearls on the pear in royal bedroom glory. You could see the amazing control of the brushstrokes – smooth yet powerful. His was classical in discipline, but less of the silence as there was so much sense of humor.
He showed me another photograph of his work. It was with Cézanne’s favorite still-life, but Brühn’s fruit tray dwarfed a man with a canvass. This awesome piece is called Searching for Subject Matter.
The Uhing’s is a beautiful tandem, with hands that work tirelessly for us to see so much beauty in life. The smile of their handsome son River simply echoes all these light and bright things.
Another family of artists was there with us, the Del Prados: Nonoy, his lovely wife Wing, and their daughters Carmen and Anna - smart and beautiful like their parents.
When Arlene announced that it was actually Wing’s birthday, I ran to Arlene’s garden and picked a pretty purple carnation and some bachelor’s buttons to give to the birthday girl.
Brühn’s masterpieces made very good conversation piece, ushering us to fun ‘art talk.’ The Del Prado sisters agreed nodded knowingly as their Mom shared with us some smart art thrills in Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.
With her art of listening, Tita Carmen Rio’s responses were full of wisdom. Her knowledge of human nature and popular culture brought us back to her generation. Film artist Jonah A. Lim had praises for Tita Carmen. At 69, this wife of the late general based in Iloilo, exudes so much youthful charm and beauty.
After more tea and wonderful conversation, Tita Carmen admitted that she had reservations earlier about fellowshipping for the first time with artists, considered by not a few as a “different moody breed who could be difficult to get along with.”
But no. On the contrary, Tita Carmen expressed that the experience simply gave her immense joy and how the kindred soul in Cez made the time so enjoyable.
More tea flowed. We took our pick: cinnamon, lemon, green, raspberry, Ceylon, apricot, citrus, peppermint. They all blended well with nature’s relaxing kisses, and each went particularly well with light pastries and cakes Arlene prepared for us. The list couldn’t have been complete without Chantilly’s colorful smallies: cakes with chocolate, strawberry and other fruit delights.
Just when we thought we had eaten enough, Arlene had also prepared for us her famed pasta carbonara. The simple tea party had grown to be a fiesta of flavors and colors. The promise of the little blue card was fully justified!
And with the sunset at dusk, we viewed Jonah’s short films capped in sepia and in full color – some of which have been screened in international films festivals in the US, Italy, New Zealand, and around the country; or received jury citations of honor.
It was a perfect way to cap the afternoon. The creative works’ simplicity blending well with the fine tea spirit that is in all of us.

Friday, April 08, 2005


A great part of Dumaguete as a University Town is its cultural life. The culture colors are so vivid as they are mounted with the youthful energy of the students from different campuses. And the most visible art form is dance. From folk to modern, from classical ballet to the contemporary social realism, and from festival traditions to the hip-hop and the street body language, Dumaguete’s vibrant spirit in dance is endless!
The dance history of Dumaguete, a noted cultural center of Southern Philippines, has achieved concrete forms even before balitaw and kuradang evolved with a touch of Spanish grace and romantic intensity. These folk traditions were never destroyed even when the American educators at Silliman University overshadowed the Spaniards with the square dance and the ballroom hits like line dance and waltz.
On stage, the University Town had its first local harvest of ballet productions in 1961 when a dance program had its formal offerings under the direction of Luz Jumawan.
Ms. Jumawan, a Silliman and St. Paul alumna, studied dance at the Anita Kane Ballet School in Manila, and also had French ballet training under Cassel. She founded the Silliman University Dance Troupe, which became well received critically for most part because of her creative direction. She was noted internationally when she choreographed the aboriginal dance pat of the cultural pageantry that opened the 2000 Sydney Olympics. (She’s now based in Australia.) With this achievement and a lot more, Jumawan deserves to be recognized as one of the cultural heroines of this University Town.
The Jumawan legacy reached its apex in 1968 when Shona Mactavish of New Zealand visited Silliman. Ballet and interpretative movements became the SU Dance Troupe’s popular creations.
In 1972, Mactavish came back to join the SU faculty. Under her direction, the talent of the Serion sisters , Luwalhati and Liwayway, were “discovered” and from then on became the Town’s leading dance artists.
It was through the efforts of the younger Serion, Liwayway Arabe, that Mactavish’s contributions were preserved. Arabe even had her own productive years with her original choreography in Philippine air. She then became director of the Silliman Dance Troupe. Later, she shone as the creative force behind what was then known as the CVPC Dance Troupe.
While the Silliman Dance Troupe was in silence, the MEV (Mariant Escaño-Villegas) Dance Studio kept the art of dance in this town constantly in good shape with their annual recital . Talents from the MEV Dance school dominated the different campuses who became the regular features in school programs.
Thanks to MEV, the City had its grand moment in dance when the National Dance Congress was conducted here in 2003.
Then, there was the Panaghiusa sa Sayaw in February this year where MEV interpreted in dance the kundiman classic with Lucio San Pedro’s Saan ka man Naroroon.
That event gave us so much pride and joy knowing that the University Town served as host to the country’s leading dance companies.
The Silliman University Dance troupe was recently revived under the directorship of the Makiling Art School dance teacher Ronnie Mirabuena. Folkdances from Luzon to Mindanao were in tapestry called “Tara na, Biyahe na, ” a dance concert in March.

The Foundation University Dance Troupe has also taken center stage through the years – as a regular feature in many community events like welcoming VIPs from all over the world (like former US President Jimmy Carter’s visit launch the Habitat for Humanity here). It was heartwarming to see the FU Dance Troupe do folkdances with traditional and contemporary versions and the lively blend of grace and strength.
And as the polytechnic college was renamed Negros Oriental State University, so did its dance troupe get a new name: the NORSU Kabilin Dance Troupe.
Kabilin literally means legacy, but it also connotes the values of kinship and the attitude that we carry as cultural moves.
The leadership of Dr. Vivitz Grace P. Electona achieved national recognition when Carlou G. Bernaldez’s version of the national dance tinikling won first runner-up in the National Folk Dance Competition held in West Visayas State University in Iloilo City.
The Kabilin is noted for its many Visayan dances. There’s Lapay Batigue, a dance from the Leyte-Samar provinces that imitates with so much fun the movements of the seagull.
The Ilonggo dance called Pamulad Isda is full of playful movements reflecting the fishing tradition of Cadiz City in Negros Occidental.
Negros Oriental is very well a part of the fiesta showcase with Polka Biana, a dance which actually originated in Zamboanguita.
At NORSU, Bhours and Vincent, serve as dance masters of the group, never fail to bring the audiences in awesome moments as they come in pursuit of the Filipina grace and charm of Milryn. Watching them is like bringing Amorsolo to life!
The Dumaguete folk dance tradition still has so much to offer. The Priscilla Magdamo Visayan Music Collections are rich materials for a choreography filled with authentic local colors.
Mounting Valencia’s Baling Mingawa, a duet by two mountain women, will be one beautiful body poetry that will paint nostalgia in the air.

Monday, April 04, 2005


This statistics is a result of the study conducted by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), based on the average passing in the BOARD EXAMINATIONS OF ALL COURSES of all universities and colleges in the Philippines.

This study is concluded every 10 years. The following is the result of the first study from
1992 to 2001. Five schools come from Luzon, two from the Visayas and three from Mindanao.

1. University of the Philippines (Diliman Campus /Luzon)

2. Silliman University (Dumaguete City / Visayas)
Silliman-University old pix

3. Ateneo de Davao University (Davao / Mindanao)

4. Ateneo de Manila University (Manila / Luzon)

5. University of Sto. Tomas (Manila / Luzon)

6. Mindanao State University (Mindanao)

7. Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (Manila /Luzon)

8. Saint Louis University (Baguio City / Luzon)

9. University of San Carlos (Cebu City / Visayas)

10. Xavier University (Cagayan de Oro /Mindanao)

Friday, March 18, 2005


Bisayang Dakô! BISDAK!
That is how we mock or label people, situations and just about anything that is below par or that is less than the global standards.
Like when someone wears green pants with pink top, its bisdak in bloom. The poor fashion shocker is bisdak! It is also so bisdak to listen to Sandara’s “In or Out”, or for anyone to memorize any of April Boy’s jukebox hits. You are bisdak if you can’t find your way around Glorietta, but are a good shopper in Gaisano. So bisdak when you don’t know how to use any high-tech gadget. And you are very much a bisdak when you are hooked to an afternoon soup opera.
Bisdak has become synonymous with baranganic, the old bakya or baduy tag, Manilans’ jologs and other Filipino slang, that are use to refer to something cheap or anything is “taga- boondocks”.
Using the term this way actually puts down, and insults, our very own sensibilities as Visayans. Why not say instead talog for talagang Tagalog to mean baduy? Then we protect our own regional identity. But the way not to degrade our own senses is simply to stop using bisdak in this context. (Saying talog will only hurt our kababayans in Luzon. Let’s just forgive them for their Luzon-centric tendencies.)
Bisaya is our color; an identity that has long been written in our history as people. It runs deep into our culture. Most important of all, it is our language.
I hate it when people think that those who are more comfortable expressing themselves in Bisaya are less intelligent than those who are fluent in English. In school, if you can mouth English fluently, you can be elected class president hands down. even if it is without sense. Speaking English has become part of a status symbol.
To speak fluently in Bisaya , however, is like committing a crime. As a result of this kind of attitude, many words in Bisaya have died in the tongue of the new generations of Visayans.
Bisaya as a language is rich and beautiful. To a large extent, it is even more powerful than the English language. Consider the verb “to carry” in English: I will carry it on my head, carry with my hand and carry it on my back. It’s the same word for all - so boring and redundant.
But with Bisaya, there is a word to use for every manner of carrying. Lukdô when you will carry something on your head, bitbit when you carry using your hand, baba when on you carry it on your back, pas-an when you carry it on your shoulder, etc.
How about the overused word “love”? I love my darling, I love my dog, I love to travel, I’d love to kill you, I love to eat.
But gugma in Bisaya sounds special and truly endearing. You can’t use it just for anything. It’s a big blunder if you were to say “Nahigugma ko sa pagkaon sa Cafeteria.” The Visayan gugma is “love for special someone.” It can not be reduced to the level of expressing love for foodstuff or a dog.
Bisaya is indeed rich, it is a beautiful language to express real emotions. Even anger sounds stronger when expressed in Bisaya. Yati na!Pesteng yawa!
It was with great joy when I witnessed the only Visayan song among the entries – Ernest Hope Tinambacan’s Mata sa Mata – was adjudged the grand prize winner in the 2005 Valentine Song Writing Contest at Silliman University. The contest was dominated with songs written in English. There were two songs in Tagalog but the beautiful flow of the lyrics in Bisaya and the contemporary arrangement by Gina Raakin gave justice to its intensity. Feel Earnest’s yearnings:

Sa akong mga mata imong hikaplagan
And imong gipangandoy nga
Gugmang wa’y paglubad
Sa akong mga mata imong Makita
Ang imong gipangandoy nga kamatuoran
Ang gugma ko alang kanimo

Sa imong mga mata akong nahikaplagan
Nga may pagbati ka usab sulod sa imong dughan
Sa imong mga mata akong nakita
Nagduha-duha ka ning akong gugma
O, ‘day paminawa
Ang gugma ko alang kanimo

Hangtud sa kahangturan ug walay katapusan
Sa kalipay ug sa kalisdanan
Hangtud sa kahangturan ug walay katapusan
Ikaw akong paga-unongan
Kay ikaw gihigugma ko…

It is simply amazing to know that such an expression was made by a very young composer, a Mass Communication student. Mata sa Mata gives hope for the language to be brought back to the mainstream. In its humble way, Mata sa Mata actually achieved a similar glory as Cesar Montano’s Panaghoy sa Suba, a Bisaya film that successfully provided the Filipino an experience of the beauty of our very own language and color.

Be proud you are a BISDAK!

Monday, February 28, 2005


It is easily believable to contend that for most Sillimanians, the fruit often does not stray far from the tree. Talents radiate, and are passed on, like genetic properties, from one generation to the next—always distinctly Sillimanian in flavor and spirit.I learned this one day when a former cook for a high school dormitory once shared to me that this famous teen actor on Philippine television is the son of a Sillimanian. Then he shared his memories and anecdotes revolving around the dormitory life of the father of this young actor. Alas, I failed to document this, and now it is increasingly hard to remember even the names of the father and his son who has made waves in local stardom. I have totally forgotten everything, even the name of the Abby Jacobs Hall storyteller.But the sense of pride I felt from that sharing is still in my heart. It has certainly become one of the building blocks of the Silliman Spirit that I now constantly radiate.This feature of Silliman parents in tandems with their famous children is offered with the hope that the glories they have achieved will spell boldly the Silliman Spirit, the special bond of love that we all share.


When FRANCES MAKIL IGNACIO visited Dumaguete last year, many recognized her as the actress behind the role of Tamara in ABS-CBN‘s Hanggang sa Dulo, then a top-rating soap opera. During a stop in a nearby town in the middle of our itinerary, she had teachers and students from a local public school running after our vehicle. Her fans were excitedly shouting after her, calling her “Tamara!” It was indeed a harvest of recognition springing from a memorable TV performance. And yet there is more of her, from television shows such as Buttercup and others. She is, however, more recognized as a stage actress; hers is a bigger name in Philippine theater, with assorted (and acclaimed) performances in Dulaang UP productions, and a lead role in Fluid, staged by the University of the Philippines Playwright’s Theater. Frances is very much like her late father, ELMO MAKIL, an Outstanding Sillimanian Awardee in the Performing Arts. In fact, she confessed to me that her energy as a performing artist stems from her father who is remembered as one of the best baritones in Philippine music history. The Silliman community will never forget the actor in Elmo, either—the great Elmo Makil, who gave us memorable performances in musicals like The Man of La Mancha, The Fantastiks, and Carousel.


A page in Portal ’79 contains this line, “… LEAH ‘JINGLE’ C. SIBALA, sweet fifteener, won the most coveted title, Miss Silliman, with her charisma.” It is, without doubt, the same charisma that made her daughter PATTY LAUREL win in the recent Philippine MTV VJ Hunt. Patty was chosen over a tough roster of top entertainment personalities, but it was a recognition that sparkled. This daughter of the 1978 Miss Silliman also shines with the same sweetness people knew of her mother. Patty’s magnetism on and off screen is definitely a reflection of Jingle’s lovely presence. Like her Mom, Patty is simply, truly beautiful. That has made her the favorite cover girl of many leading Philippine magazines.

The mother-and-daughter artistic tandem of KITTY and MARIA TANIGUCHI is a partnership that has borne so much creative gusto. Both women are two of the visual artists who were featured during the Silliman Centennial celebration. Kitty is considered as one of the leading women artists in Southeast Asia, and she has rightfully represented the Philippines in various art festivals around the world. Overshadowing Kitty, at some relative points, is her own daughter Maria, who has had a grand slam of sorts in the local art world, winning the various art contests in the country in 2001. The young Taniguchi recently represented the Philippines in the Singapore Art Festival, and there she made her presence felt in the wider world of art. These Sillimanian women share the same passion in painting and sculpture, but they—like the truest artists—capture social realities in different shades and genres.


ISABEL DIMAYA VISTA, the former director of the Silliman School of Music, gave Silliman two national honors when her choirs won two first places in the National Music Competition for Young Artists. And the most memorable of these glories was in 1973 when, as Champion, the Silliman’s Young Singers performed for the former First Lady in Malacañang and then at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, together with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra. Isabel’s daughter ELIZABETH SUSAN VISTA-SUAREZ also became director of the School of Music, and also directed choirs that became national winners. Her magical distillation of choral music, through the acclaimed SU Campus Choristers, led the way for the choir being chosen as the Philippine Centennial Goodwill Ambassadors to the United States. Like a blast from the past, Susan’s choir also performed with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra during the Silliman Centennial in 2001. Indeed, like mother, like daughter.


The heartthrob of Silliman University High School Class of 1964 LESLIE HO is the proud father of DENNIS TRILLO, the Best Actor of the 2005 Manila Film Critics Awards and Best Supporting Actor in the 2004 Manila Film Festival for his remarkable performance in the movie Aishte Imasu.Winning an award in his first major film assignment is a sign that the name Dennis Trillo will be a big star soon. He was also was featured in the movie “Mano Po 3” as the boyfriend of teen star Angel Locsin who played the role of a smart daughter of Vilma Santos in this film that won Best Picture in the MFF.


The debonair ATTY. FLORIAN ALCANTARA of Class 1989 is very supportive of his son’s showbiz career. And the young Alcantara—who is now known with his showbiz moniker of CRAIG SIROTA—is slowly penetrating the industry with sure breaks in TV and print commercials.Craig who is Nick Alcantara to friends back home has appeared in TV ads such as Taquitos, McDonald’s ‘Love Ko To’ and in the drama program “Maalaala Mo Kaya”. He is now co-hosting to IBC’s noontime show Chowtime Na!. He is also a vocalist in Maryo J. delos Reyes’ boy band M-Gage.


Silliman University High Class of 1999 member JOSE RAMON VICENTE SINGSON DEL PRADO made history when Egg, the first full length Filipino animated film he made as a student project leading to a degree in Communication Arts from De La Salle, won 1st Place in the 5th UP Film and Video Festival in September 2003. It also won the Grand Jury Award from the UP Indeo Film Festival in 2004 and a harvest of honors from other award giving bodies(on February 6 at 8am, Egg will be shown on national television GMA 7). Ramon’s creative success is a reflection of his mother’s versatility as a visual artist. SOCORRO “WING” DEL PRADO, a daughter of a cartoonist, is prolific visual artist. Her costumes and garment designs in school plays and other productions made memorable scenes and characters on and off stage. Her miniature paintings are part of the early works that are now valuable private collection. Ramon is also grateful to his father NONOY DEL PRADO for introducing to him the art of animation. What he got is really in the bloodline! But it’s not just on the creative hands, Ramon also inherited the beautiful genetic make-up of his parents. We will be seeing more of Ramon for this handsome young artist is now at the threshold of a modeling career. He carries not the typical weird image of an artist but that of a hunk with a cool fashion sense.

Saturday, February 26, 2005


What is said to be the world’s oldest profession has also become an “easy job” for almost all ages. From time to time, you get shocked at news of a nine year old or so going into the flesh trade. In fact, prostitution has long invaded the schools.
I was still in a church-based high school in Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte when my pretty classmate confessed that she enjoyed the thrill of dating moneyed salesmen and young entrepreneurs. She told me she particularly love the shopping package.
What made matters worse was that I learned that this pretty classmate of mine never got out of such a job even when she was already in Cebu for college. In that big city, her range of clientele simply widened. Ton think that she was a smart student back in high school. She even got the Mathematician of the Year award on graduation day. The typical campus “beauty and brains” in the flesh (no pun intended), now “wasted” by the lure of material gifts from DOM.
While my high school classmate was “working” in Cebu, I didn’t realize that I was also slowly being introduced to their kind of life – right here in this University Town. I was a college freshman then and so, was like a kid brother particularly to two seniors. They would regale me with campus stories, they would take me to clean fun activities and because of their wit and adorable sense of humor, I felt that it was simply cool jamming with the seniors.
Since these two senior-friends of mine would have to fulfill some “extra-curricular responsibilities” at night, they would ask me to do their homework – which I willingly did. And for doing their school assignments, they would reward me with fun-filled weekends in Cebu, a trip to Camiguin island one time and chances to visit their nice affluent homes in Mindanao.
I never really cared to know what kind of “work scholarship” they were into especially that one of them was also very active in church activities. I only learned that these two lady friends of mine had what call “sugar daddies” after one wife barged into my friend’s apartment to confront her.
I should say that today, it’s even worse. And in some instances, less discrete. No one campus in this University Town can claim that their students are all morally prim and proper. I know of students who do this kind of work as a “sideline.” I know of one who is actually engaged in it as her main source of her tuition. (As the story goes, when the old man asks, “what’s your schedule like? The lady eagerly, albeit wrongly, replies, “our midterms would be on… our finals would be…)
I do not know of any formal study that has been conducted to explore the “dark rooms” of campus prostitution but I and my friends have several anecdotal experiences/ eyewitness accounts of student sex workers.
Some dealings are discreet. A student –prosti would approach a storeowner, and borrow some money in a business-like transaction. The mode of payment would be a secret deal. Or she would ask him trough text messaging for a mobile phone load. Aand one thing leads to another.
Or a male student would approach a ‘client’ in a bar and ask to have a drink with him. Inside the dark moviehouse, he would slide beside the possible ‘mama’ and engage her in a conversation of sorts.
Sometimes, these students are so desperate, they would do anything for P100 per “session.” (Again, as the story goes, a DOM asks a student in unform if P50 is okay, and she asks if it could be increased a bit because she has yet to commute home about three of four towns away.) The better your school’s reputation for academic excellence, the higher the rate one could command. So the unwritten rule: Only those coming from “the leading school” can command 500 pesos or more per ‘session.’ (Now pray, tell me, who would want to admit his is the leading school?)
While students in this one university (this University town already has four), would indulge in this “adventure” for dire financial reasons, those from the affluent school are doing it for love. Genuine love.
For sophomore business student Albert, for instance, the monetary aspect is “just part of the thrill.” One would understand that Albert grew up in a family with an absentee father. He never felt deep bond with his medical doctor-dad who was almost always in the hospital operating on someone he hardly knew. Whatever interaction they had was always cold and distant. Or what do you expect from a serious hardworking father who, whenever he was able to come home when everybody still awake, would bark orders and expect strict obedience like he did in his profession? This was how the stern father made an impact on Albert’s young life. Of course, no one expected the campus hunk Albert to eventually fall for the “parental” love from his gay lover, a doctor like his dad, who showered him not just with gifts, but most importantly, quality time and the precious art of listening.
In Sheena’s case, her public school teacher-“stage mother” and OCW father compelled her to out and look for her own love. She had always felt the pressured to excel academically since she was in high school. She was never allowed to socialize for fear it would distract her from her studies. Sheena eventually graduated with honors and got a college scholarship that brought her here – away from home. Finally being in Dumaguete was “sheer freedom” from the regimented life under the careful watch of the stage mother. Like a bird finally out of a cage after the longest time, teenage Sheena has not ceased to flap her wings of freedom all through the night, jumping into the love and care of a “very nice and understanding” medrep who also happens to be very much married.
For Mike, meanwhile, all the perceived images of “good role models” have crumbled. His parents are separated. In third year high, his mentor-priest touched him. And now, one of his college instructors is making him a ” toyboy.” To find love, he intentionally sleeps around with whoever gives him full attention. Not to mention, whoever he sees is able to especially provide for his need for “extra money” to buy “that substance” that has become part of his system.
Our poor national economy is definitely not the only reason why our students are driven into prostitution. The lack of warmth and genuine concern from parents who care in the right way and at the right time should be counted as the main culprit. Then, there is that big failure of the “guardians of the moral fiber.” If we only realized that lessons imparted by high-tech multimedia gadgets and games are louder and more consistent than those at the pulpit. They’re even more intense than programs that promote the boring lessons of values education.
Let it be known that a child today needs a very high quality care experience at home. Young souls like Albert, Sheena or Mike and even my high school classmate in Agusan had stepped out of their homes without such a valuable foundation called parental love. When evidently working, LOVE at home comes without a price tag.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


It was in 2003 when Taiwanese actors, actually a boyband named F4, through the Meteor Garden drama series became the country’s pop icons. The “invasion” was a huge success as they came when the country’s film and TV industry was in a struggle - it seemed to suffer from a lack of new and good material. The fresh look of the F4 drama on campus life gave the badly-needed new blood for Philippine showbiz industry. A foreign creative energy overpowered our very own.
This sad state of the country’s film and broadcast industry was to be the background scenario when Negros Oriental’s very own Eddie Romero was honored as the National Artist for Cinema and Broadcast in 2003.
The honor may have been given at the wrong time, and was in fact, long overdue. But Eddie Romero being awarded with the country’s highest honor in culture and the arts means a lot to us anyway. For students in this University Town, it is a call to discover his gifts of inspiration and sense of nationalism through the knowledge of his classic works.
Eddie Romero’s touch was a major force that led to Phillippine Cinema’s golden age in 1976. It was his Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon? that gave the Philippine film industry a sense of national identity. The use of local color through production design and musical score achieved an Amorsolo light in Philippine cinema. His Kamakalawa, which had the Negros Oriental riverbanks and mountain slopes as setting, was a manifestation of his love for the folkloric Philippines. With all of these, a distinction was made concrete.
It was a delight that through his Alma Mater (Silliman University High School in 1940) the University Town was able to honor him with an important homecoming. On February 11 at the Luce Auditorium, National Artist Eddie Romero was the Guest Speaker for Silliman University Honors Day.
He started his speech with a recollection of the one-act comedy he wrote. Sixty-four years ago when he was still a sophomore liberal arts student, “History is Made in Bed” was mounted on Silliman Hall stage. This was after he sold his first screenplay to a film company in Manila. Knowing now that he started so young as a playwright, and with Dumaguete as the cradle of his early works is truly a great inspiration.
Literary artist and film critic Ian Rosales Casocot describes Romero as “the quintessential storyteller” and “a film artist who is known for going beyond didacticism to tell, in his films, stories about people in the midst of the richness and everyday complexities of their lives.” He further states that among the more than 70 Romero films are masterpieces that “have enriched the Philippine cinema with his deft artistry and activism”. His creative energy has gone as far as major international projects that have “contributed to the pantheon of Hollywood cult classics that have influenced such filmmakers as Quentin Tarantino.”
When invited to share his insights on the Philippine film industry with a classroom session with MassCom students and the Weekly Sillimanian staff, Eddie Romero pointed out the “need for truly passionate film artists” that will not compromise their ideas with trends and commercial pressures.
He also shared that government tax and the lack of support from politicians made it impossible for a director to have all the resources needed for an outstanding production.
There is so much to learn from this National Artist for Cinema and Broadcast. Even his closing statement on Honors Day reveals an important call: “We are all dependent on one another, whether we want to be or not. The quality of a human life can only be measured by the quality of its response to this inescapable need. It is the totality of that response that determines whether nations flourish or wither away. I cannot bear the thought of not having a country to be proud of. Bit there is nothing I fear more than deceiving myself. That is my story for today.”

Friday, January 28, 2005


the wind kisses the skin
for the earth prince to dream
with eyes open

The lines from a haiku I wrote one stormy night reveals the power of the wind to teach us a lesson.

The wind kisses us in many ways but its most enduring kiss is the one that’s carried through the airwaves: MUSIC.
Wind Kiss was the title I gave to a concert that featured a young violinist. Calling her performance a kiss was perfect as the classic gentleness of her music went so deep into the senses. It’s the classical and the jazzy that truly feels like a kiss. And we had so much of this classic touch of the wind in 2004. (Thank God, it wasn’t totally lorded over by Britney!)
I discovered the impact of these 2004 wind kisses not from an FM radio or MTV Top 10 but from the bathrooms in student dormitories and in boarding houses. Most memorable are the Nora Jones hits introduced to me by Saree of Sampaguita Hall.
Nora Jones, chosen by Time Magazine as the most influential artist of 2003, brought back the coolness of fresh sounding songs. My favorite Don’t Know Why seems to keep getting better and better each time I listen to it. She sings: “ My heart is drenched in wine but you’ll be on my mind forever….” I wasn’t surprised then when, from among her many songs, Don’t Know Why was given the Grammy for technical arrangement.
The No. 2 wind kiss for me is the music of Josh Groban. His The Prayer, which is performed in almost all Invocations in school programs, dominates all else. But it wasn’t actually this song that grabbed my attention but Groban’s version of Don MacLean’s Vincent.
Vincent brings to life the story of my favorite Impressionist Van Gogh, made more intense like a solid brushstroke with Groban’s classic style.
And when happen to pass by as my friend Giovanni sings Vincent, it’s like listening to Groban performing live.
Among all of Groban’s songs, I have memorized Aléjate simply for its sentimental flow – never mind that the lyrics sounded strange at first. I became prouder of my choice when I learned that this Spanish song is the favorite of the cool Dr. Mervyn Misajon and his son Joshua. And when the former Silliman University President admitted that he did not understand any line in the lyrics, I excitedly translated at least for him the chorus for him:
Aléjate, no puedo más
Ya no hay manera de volver el tiempo atrás….
Olvídate de mí
Y déjame seguir a solas con mi soledad
Aléjate, ya dime adios
Y me resignaré a seguir sin tu calor
Y jamás entederé que fue lo que pasó
Si nada puedo hacer, aléjate

Go away, I can’t bear it anymore
There is no way to go back in time
Forget about me
And let me go on alone with my solitude
Go away, go on and tell me goodbye
And I will resign myself to go on without your love
And I will never understand what happened
If there's nothing I can do, go away

Jazz is almost an ‘endangered’ music tradition to the Britney Spears generation, until I had this kiss from Diana Krall. From a website, I learned that it was on June 29, last year that the Grammy award-winning superstar Krall gave a career-defining performance to over 15,000 fans at the 25th Annual Montreal Jazz Festival.
Her ‘presence’ in our University Town was confirmed when a dormitory sophomore beauty Gaily sang the 1977 hit Just the Way You Are with a jazz beat. I asked who’s version she was she singing since I remember Billy Joel singing it. And that’s when Gaily told me that it’s Diana Krall’s, from the soundtrack of the film The Guru.

My wind kiss music defines a sharp contrast from the favorites of my secret bodega friend Jaja – rock. Listen to Incubus’ Pardon Me with the usual explosive lyrics:

Pardon me while I burstA decade ago, I never thought I would be.A twenty three on the verge of spontaneous combustion
Woe is meBut I guess that it comes with the territory.An ominous landscape of never-ending calamity.

and Bamboo’s Mr. Clay …
So now you got the fires rockinBlood and hateThen you got the people talkingLegacyYou will never be forgottenYour place in historyA black mark in timeA black mark in time

JONES, GROBAN & KRALL. made waves in 2004 even without the scream of INCUBUS or the noise of BAMBOO. Their offering of the intelligence of jazz and the coolness of the classics will definitely conquer 2005… and even beyond.

It’s peace with a wind kiss!

NO “danger zone” for the SU BAND

ZAMBOANGA CITY – It was so hard to give a “yes” to City’s invitation for the Silliman University Concert Band to be part of its Fiesta Pilar celebration last year. The main opposition came from parents of the student band members who thought of Zamboanga as “danger zone.”
This school year, the Silliman alumni groups of the entire Zamboanga peninsula once again invited the SU Concert Band to embark on a concert tour. Ipil, the town that made headlines years back with its historic bloody terrorist attack at its business district, initiated preparations for the concert. After getting the ‘go’ signal from the military, we managed to assure the band members that everything would be smooth and peaceful.
As the SU Band’s impresario, I could say that indeed, the entire concert tour from from Dapitan to Zamboanga City in the big island of Mindanao in southern Philippines was smooth and peaceful.
A Peace & Goodwill Tour of the SU Concert Band on October 18 to the Zamboanga Peninsula capped the first semester of this school year. It was a mission guided by a great promise in Joshua 1:9, to be “…confident and be of good courage for the Lord, your God, will be with you wherever you go….”
Our first stop was in Dapitan City, where we were ushered to Jose Rizal Memorial State College, whose president is our very own Dr. Henry Sojor, also president of the new Negros Oriental State University. Dr. Sojor’s staff showed us Dapitan’s hospitality and served as our “home away from home.”
The dynamic secretary of JRM State College Board of Trustees, Chalee Camazo, served as anchor host for the Sillimanians in the area. Another Sillimanian, Elena Abad of the local tourism office, helped mount the first performance at the City’s gymnasium.
Local high school girls were screaming with delight over the good-looking gentlemen of the SU concert Band’s jazz section. Before we left Dapitan, the ladies made sure they got the cellphone numbers and Friendster accounts of student-musicians Mark Beevers and Jude Lozada.
Day after concert night, I saw many school children imitating the vigoruos hand movements of Maestro Joseph Basa, the SU Concert band’s director. The kids loved the soundtrack themes from great movies like Superman, Starwars and Mission Impossible.
The legacy of great music and sweet memories came with a touch of history as we took time to visit the old Church’s “Mindanao Map” made by the national hero Jose Rizal, and the famous Rizal Shrine that was filled with tranquility. After the Dapitan tour, Elena assured us with a prayer that we would be safe.
Dipolog City was our next stop. United Church of Christ in the Philippines Bishop Hilario Gomez, Outstanding Sillimanian in the field of Peace Advocacy, was there to keep the preparations moving. He officially declared the event as a “Concert for Peace” when he opened the performance with a prayer.
From the marches to the classical, to Philippine folksongs to the modern ballroom music, these were always capped by a thunderous applause from the audience who simply knew how to show their appreciation..
The town of Polanco in Zamboanga del Norte brought back scenes of Valencia with its huge shady trees and a nice green park fronting the church. The Singles for Christ there, as coordinated by Mrs. Jovita Ocupe, easily got the support of the parish. The men in the Silliman Band were housed at the convent, while the ladies were housed at the hilltop home of Mrs. Ocupe. The whole town was excited about the concert. Afterall, it was going to feature their favorite son, Ian Encarnacion, not only as instrumentalist but also as a vocal soloist.
And true enough, Ian brought the house down when he performed his Yoyoy Villame numbers.
If the townsfolk from other places were impressed by the performance of the SU Concert Band, the student-musicians were also impressed by the sense of organization over at Sindangan town. From the time of our arrival until the concert night, everything had the personalized hands-on leadership of Atty. Alanixon Selda, a crew member of the Luce Auditorium in his student days. Even with the limited technical features, the Sindangan National Agricutural School gym turned out to be a good venue for the largest gathering of people in this concert tour.
The lively audience was composed mostly of students from the various schools in Sindangan who would vigorously stomp their feet or sway with the music, and clap after each number to express their fun and enjoyment. Young as they were, they seemed to enjoy most the rock n’ roll medley.

For our musical performances in the towns of Labason and Liloy, the former Miss Young Dumaguete and Miss Silliman first runner-up Sandee Lim, with husband Benju Palanas were concert coordinators.
The organizers told me they considered concert like these as “cultural exposure.” Yolly Galicia, one of the hosts, expressed hope that they get other chances to sponsor such “very educational concert” for the local people. Mrs. Jean Lim said she was simply delighted that the audience loved even the classical set that included the Magic of Mozart. Former Congressman Angel Carloto expressed gratitude that the music of his time was alive once again and performed by very young Silliman performing artists. For him, it was an evening of nostalgia.
The fiesta in Titay had one great feature: the Silliman Band Concert was dubbed as the “Grandeur in Music.”
Councilor Ronnie Castillo, who as student played the trumpet for the SU Band, was the prime mover of the event. Again, the Singles for Christ were highly supportive--. from the stage design, to the jampacked audience. Among them, Silliman alumni came in almost full force-- and in red Silliman shirts. Our concert stop at Titay was indeed grand with the warmth and hospitality of town fiestas.
Technically, the best sound system and lighting for the concert tour was in Ipil. The magic of the municipality’s leaders, Eleanor Funda-Sardual and her daughter Ceejay led to a free concert.
The Band members were billeted at Roderic’s Resort, a natural beauty by a creek, enjoyed the partaking of the various sumptuous tasty cuisine at Montebello, and sampled the busy slice of Ipil nightlife at the Underground, their version of El Camino.
Ipil Mayor Rey Olegario, a Silliman alumnus, and his family made sure that the Silliman student- musicians would remember Ipil as the place where they had a great time! The Underground gave the Sillimanians a colorful evening reception after the successful concert. In addition, Zamboanga Sibugay Congresswoman Belma Cabilao, also a Sillimanian, gave the SU Band a love gift.
Our final stop, Zamboanga City was done with so much elegance. It was a blast! From the alumni usherettes in full gowns, to the SkyCable coverage at Marcian Garden Hotel, we were pleasantly surprised.
Zamboanga City Mayor Loreto Lobregat sat through the final set of the concert, and his mere presence surely made a lot of difference
Silliman alumna Myrna Cabato, dean of tthe College of Nursing of the Western Mindanao State University, led her fellow alumni in the production of this memorable night of music. Alumni president Willie Espinosa successfully paved the way for the Silliman Band to conquer Zamboanga.
In the words of the Silliman Alumni Affairs Director Prof. Jocelyn Somoza de la Cruz, “it was a successful mission of sharing the gift of peace and goodwill through music.”
It was an inspiring story of a place and its people who had so much peace to share. Like the music we shared, Zamboanga peninsula was indeed a beautiful and peaceful haven.

by: Moses Joshua B. Atega
Published on October 31, 2004


"At the end of each rainbow, so the saying goes, is a pot of gold. As a woman of the earth, what else would you rather find at the end of the rainbow?"

That was the final question in last year’s Miss Earth. It’s one of my favorites for beauty pageants final questions. My list includes the “the essence of a woman” fame of Miss Universe 1994 Sushmita Sen of India.
With the Miss Earth 2003, the final answers didn’t actually matter much as the ladies gave sensible replies: “I’d rather find God and to give love to people,” “ world peace”; another went Biblical: “I’d rather find that Adam never ate the forbidden fruit so we all would be living in Paradise still”; the simplest answer: “ to find clean waters”; and the unexpected answer: “ I’d rather find nothing more than the pot of gold, for with I, I will have everything.”
The judges made their decision and the one who mentioned “God” eventually won. But really, it wasn’t her answer that made her the winner. It was more of her regal stage presence in white gown -- as she shared her wisdom –that won her the crown. She was every inch a queen. And everyone was happy with the choice for after all, the final answers were all in pageant-flavored standard lines and kind of roundabout.
The 2004 Miss Dumaguete final question moment was somewhat similar to the Miss
Earth 2003 climax. Sandurot Fiesta Chairperson Glynda Descuatan read the question: “Dumaguete as a Student City has done a lot of things to entice visitors to come. What do you think should be done to make these visitors stay longer?”

The question may sound easy but when one is under pressure, I think it’s hard to crack a witty response that calls for a “doable idea.” Afterall, it was a serious question, not a
simple trivia. And for that, I salute all the Top 3 finalists as they managed to think on their feet and speak so spontaneously.

Louella Dawn D. Chiu of Dumaguete Science High School enumerated
three points to ensure the visitors’ longer stay: sustain the “gentle people” stature, continue to offer quality education; and maintain the tranquility. The audience gave
thunderous applause. She had the best answer that night, which redeemed her beating-around-the-bush answer in the semi-finals.

Miss Foundation University Naddie May Kadusale Orillana answered with the phrase “quality education.” And added, “That’s it!” to signal the host that it was her final answer.

Josephine Karen Carlia M. Milio of Silliman University also had “quality education” as the only focus and took time to mention the four universities. In trying to recall the names of the schools, there was this uncomfortable gap, drowned by the audience’ reaction of surprise. She finally managed to end her reply with an emphasis on the “need for quality education.”

With Naddie’s brief answer, she was moved farther from the crown, giving Louella a step closer to the final glory as first runner-up.
The crown eventually went to the one who was leading in the semi-final round with the Best in Interview award, and a harvest of all the ramp fashion awards. Josie, who looked stunning in Silliman red gown, made the final march to victory as Miss Dumaguete 2004.

Clearly that evening, her answer to the final question was overshadowed by her physical presence that simply mesmerized almost everyone!

If we were to ask our Dumaguete visitors what would have been the best answer, I’m sure it wouldn’t be so much the offering of quality education “since it’s already being done, and in fact, taken for granted that it’s happening.

Neither would the “gentleness of the people” make the visitors stay in Dumaguete longer since it’s common occurrence here, and therefore, ordinary.

Maybe the visitors to Dumaguete would stay longer if air pollution problem in the City could be checked and managed, especially that which is caused by exhaust from the growing number of pedicabs. Many foreign residents have actually expressed concern over the culprit.

They would also stay longer if local government officials demonstrate better senses in not sacrificing their sense of history and their fervor for the cause of the environment for the sake of their own version of “generic” progress: reclamation and “eco-tourism” projects.

Visitors to Dumaguete would also extend their stay if our local police were more vigilant so that crime cases are solved immediately. We regret the case of Jonathan Marie Aguilar Sibala, a 23-year old balikbayan nurse from California, who stabbed by young men last week. Jonathan came to visit Dumaguete to celebrate the centennial of St. Paul University. He saw many things beautiful, and decided to extend his stay to celebrate the Sandurot fiesta with relatives here.

But the joyful homecoming ended with a painful twist of fate. His violent ending just gave this “City of Gentle People” a bad image in the Filipino-American community in the US. I can’t blame them if prospective visitors will be paranoid towards Dumaguete henceforth.

So you see, answering the seemingly-simple question was no easy task. It required a doable, relevant idea.

The final question in the recent Miss Dumaguete beauty pageant is still crying out for more concrete answers not necessarily from the beauty queens parading on stage, but more importantly from those in active public service.

Josie, Miss DumagueteJosephine Karen Carlia M. Milio,in white, of Silliman University

November 27, 2004
SCHOOL PIE by Moses Joshua B. Atega
Published in METROPOST